NFL: Andrew Luck holds off the Texans

Andrew Luck played a starring role against the Houston Texans last night to seal a 33-28 win at NRG Stadium.

The Colts led 24-7 early in the second quarter but two Arian Foster touchdowns and yet another score from defensive star J.J. Watt gave the Texans hope all the way to the final minutes.

Houston’s vociferous support was silenced early in the opening game of week six with Adam Vinatieri booting a 27-yard field goal and Trent Richardson barrelling over from five yards before Luck took over.

The Colts quarterback linked up with Ahmad Bradshaw from five yards and Coby Fleener from four to make it 24-0 at the end of a one-sided opening quarter.

Ryan Fitzpatrick cut the deficit with a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson and Foster crossed from 12 yards to make it 24-14 before Vinatieri ended the first-half scoring with a 34-yard field goal.

The gap was only six points when Foster scampered over from two yards but Luck and T.Y. Hilton connected on a 33-yard pass to put the Colts 33-21 in front heading into the final quarter.

With 10:36 left on the clock, Luck fumbled and Watt was able to run to the endzone from 45 yards out for his second, a remarkable third touchdown of the season for the star defensive end, who also had two sacks of Luck and swatted away three passes.

But despite getting the ball twice more, the Texans were unable to cap their rally with a match-winning score leaving them 3-3, with the Colts improving their record to 4-2.

Their best chance ended when Fitzpatrick coughed the ball up after being sacked by Bjoern Werner, with the Colts recovering the ball and running down the remaining seconds left on the clock.

Luck ended up with 25 completions for 370 yards and three touchdowns, an inspired Hilton catching nine of his passes for a career-high 233 yards.

“We realised with the recent history of Thursday night games, teams who are going on the road are struggling, and we didn’t want to do that,” Luck said. “We were lucky enough to get off on that fast start. It takes focus, and you almost have to trick yourself into it.”